An international border separates Imperial and San Diego counties from the Mexican state of Baja California. Yet these three diverse border communities, which straddle two nations, make up one “mega-region” and share the same economy. These expansive areas around the California-Mexico border comprise the CaliBaja Bi-National Mega-Region. This economic powerhouse generates more than $200 billion annually in GDP, is home to several robust industry clusters, such as in advanced manufacturing and biotech, which are vital to the California’s future economic growth and prosperity.
Undeterred by the formidable barrier slicing the region in two, business, civic, and government leaders on both sides of the border teamed up to develop the CaliBaja Mega-Region Initiative, a collaborative effort to spur economic growth and job creation in the region.
“Together we’re more competitive,” said Flavio Olivieri, Executive Director of Tijuana EDC, touting the importance of the CaliBaja partnership. “We complement each other. We each have resources that improve the capabilities of the region overall and make it more attractive for investment, generating more jobs.”
While Congress focuses on the beefing up border security, regional leaders are working to blur the line of demarcation by deepening economic integration. In fact, the cities of San Diego and Tijuana even floated the idea of submitting a joint proposal to host the 2024 summer Olympics. But hopes for what would have been the world’s first bi-national Olympics games were dashed as tournament rules bar dual country co-hosting.
Globalization is redrawing the California’s economic map; today’s political and regional economic boundaries often no longer coincide. That’s why the California Economic Summit champions a regional approach to economic development. Fostering innovative regional collaborative efforts, like the Mega-Region Initiative, will fuel California’s future economic growth.